Well THAT didn’t take very long…

When does a hobby become an obsession, an obsession become an addiction?   When you know that what you are doing is harming yourself and those around you and still you can’t stop…  Be careful, Lori.  Just like that lout that Meryl Streep was “with” in Out of Africa, Chris What’s-his-Name is probably harboring syphilis.   Then she met her “Mark Trail” (played by Robert Redford) and things got really complicated…

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But what, if anything DO you feel, Lori?  It’s very strange that you are on Safari with a guy when the two of you are obviously NOT and the same page… about ANYTHING…

Nice to see the return of the random wildlife shot.  It cannot be easy to draw all those stripes on that zebra…

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Ha! I knew it!

OK, let’s not get too excited about the fact that I might have guessed how this story was going to unfold…  but in the past there has been Catfish aiding and abetting Rod Bassy by strapping on the SCUBA tanks, the bear finding the maple-syrup-infused Indian artifacts, and now we have Chris (I have a gambling problem) Dyer going double-or-nothing by getting involved with a few locals in their poaching scheme to pay off the shylocks with whom he is in deep…  Oh, money, thou art a wicked temptress…

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But Lori Tompkins, you brought Chris Dyer all the way to Africa to tell him that the two of you couldn’t be together?  Seems a bit, well, involved…  And you are one to talk, considering you are on the lam after embezzling school funds!  A dentist!  Ha!  My hind foot!

Yes, Chris, your scheme may work out, but what about your impulsive nature?  What about your addictive personality?  Success here will only cause you to go after the next score, since the thrill of winning fades and you will need another fix!!

Transitions? We don’t need no Stinking Transitions…

OK, unless of course you count the far left narrative panel, which will continue to move the story along MUCH FASTER than any stories of Mark Trail past…  I don’t know, I feel like I am sort of being jerked around… It was just morning for crying out loud, and the last image I have burned in my psyche is a flaming spear thrust into a gaping hippo’s mouth…  now I have to shift quickly to the comely Lori Tompkins leaning up against a tree in the Sub-Saharan Moonlight with the feckless and out of work Chris Dyer confessing his undying love for her…  I am getting a whiplash here!!

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And Chris, I hope you are a good judge of human emotion, better than you are at keeping a job, because Lori, despite the fact that the two of you are traveling together on this exotic junket, presumably on her dime, wants nothing to do with you.  But can you blame her?  I mean, she’s met THE TRAIL… and there can be no going back now…  You know what they say… three’s a crowd…

Take that, Hungry Hungry Hippo!

As Mark Stand there, like a member of the Justice League (Superman?) or one of the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,”  it’s already quit clear why providence has brought all these people together… To save a Porter named Taurus from an untimely death at the mouth of a Hippo…

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Yes Chris, I imagine you WOULD bet money, if’n you only had some…  Remember?  You are UNEMPLOYED??  Such is the lot of the down on their luck, always looking to make a score to bring themselves back even!!  And Chris, that burning stick isn’t the only thing that Mark hasn’t “thrust” before in the presence of an angry beast, or even in the face of advances at home…

Say Ahhhhh!

Well it’s a damn good thing that Mark Trail and his party don’t follow the OUTDOOR CODE!  Otherwise there would not be the always available flaming stick to ward off marauding Hippopotami…  But Really?  “Hey! Over Here!”??  This is an African Hippo, how would it understand English??

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My hopes that somehow the red whistle would come into play are dashed!  The mystery of the red whistle remains intact.  Poor Mr. Hippo.  He’s going to have a nasty burn- worse than Pizza stuck to the roof of your mouth…  Oh well, soaking it in the river will take care of that.  I want to say that I am reminded of a Rudyard Kipling “Just So Story” about the Elephant’s Child by the “Great Gray Green Greasy Limpopo River all set about with Fever Trees…” Wait- that was an elephant story…  or the one about how the Rhinoceros got his skin- where the Farsi baked a cake and got the crumbs under the Rhino’s skin and caused him to roll around and scratch himself… But that’s a Rhino Story…  alas, no Hippo stories to recall…

Nice. Hippo.

Oh Dear…  That Bull (not Taurus) must have felt to need to protect his mate/ territory.  And I see now that Taurus has the same type of whistle around his neck that Kah-deen was wearing when we met him briefly at the airport baggage claim.  Interesting.  Is this to alert others of danger?  Well, get blowin’ Mate.  Oops wait we aren’t in Australia we are in Africa.

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And who does Lori’s Hair in the bush?  She strikes a typical pose with her hands on her head and her eyes bugged out.  Nice flip-do… And what’s Mark doing in the background?  That has to be him cutting such a striking profile…

And by “anything” we mean what??

Are we talking fluff and fold here?  Is “Taurus” (Really?!?) offering to rinse out Mark’s “Unmentionables??”  And why is “Taurus” (Don’t worry I will stop putting quotes around his name in a minute…)  shouting at Mark?  Is that why his left hand is raised in a cupped fashion around the side of his mouth as he talks??

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And in not “paying attention to his surroundings” (What- is this your first Safari, Taurus??)  He’s about to get attacked by a rogue Hippopotamus… I learned on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom that The Hippo is one of nature’s most fearsome creatures, whose tusks are razor sharp and can disembowel a man as quickly as it might look at him… despite not having very good vision, the “sight” of a man doing laundry has been known to enrage a territorial Hippo… OK, I just made that one up…